The pair were speaking as part of Rolling Stones’ new ‘Musicians On Musicians’ cover series.
Byrne told the New Zealand musician that he admired the minimalism of her music. He said: “I heard your music ages ago. One of the things that struck me was how minimal it was.
“There was a lot going on in the vocal area with harmonies, but musically, it was stripped down — just what you need as far as beats and keyboards, and no more. Which completely knocked me out. I thought, ‘I could learn from that.’”
He asked Lorde: “Did you get any pushback in the beginning: “You need to add this, that, and the other to this production?”
Lorde went on to reply: “It’s funny that you say that. When I released ‘Royals’ on my SoundCloud, just for free, I quickly heard from an American record company, and they were like, ‘For the real version, you might need to put a bit more into it’ ‘Oh, this is the real version!’
Byrne added: “So you felt, right away, you had a sense of this is what it wants to be?” to which Lorde said: “Yeah. It’s that Ira Glass quote that I’ve always liked, where he talks about being young.
“‘You have taste, but you don’t have skill. So you make things and you know they are not right, but your taste is intact, and that will get you there eventually.’ I can’t really play anything, I’m not a good musician, but I always had my ear.”
Later on in their conversation, Lorde said had leaned to more “maximalism” in her music recently but planned to return to more “minimalism” again soon.
The acclaimed concert film, from director Spike Lee, came to cinemas in the US nationwide for a special one night showing on September 15.
The event also featured a new introduction from Byrne and will also show a never-before-seen conversation between Byrne and Lee.